Three-Point Stance: Texas A&M, Arch Manning, Mid-South risers
Rivals analyst Cole Patterson addresses three issues in today's Three-Point Stance. Patterson argues that It is too early to discount Texas A&M on the recruiting trail, acknowledges that Arch Manning is undoubtedly a five-star passer and identifies stock-up candidates in the Mid-South after an eventful summer.
Don't sleep on Texas A&M
Jimbo Fisher and Texas A&M signed one of the most impressive hauls ever in the 2022 cycle. The Aggies loaded up on the defensive line, which was headlined by five-star defensive tackle Walter Nolen. A&M also signed its future at quarterback in Conner Weigman, with elite pass catchers Evan Stewart and Chris Marshall as weapons on the outside.
The Aggies have not had as much recruiting success to this point in the 2023 cycle, but it is way too early to discount Fisher and company for some elite recruits. Remember, talents such as Nolen, Stewart and Marshall were all uncommitted at this point last year.
Texas A&M is very much in the game with five-star talents Anthony Hill, TJ Shanahan Jr., David Hicks Jr., and Javien Toviano. That would give the Aggies yet another influx of elite talent on the defensive side of the ball, in addition to Shanahan on the offensive line.
It remains to be seen if the Aggies will sweep that foursome, but it is not out of the realm of possibility that A&M goes four-for-four there if things fall just right. Though Texas also remains a firm contender for Hill, Hicks and Toviano. The Longhorns also made the top five for Shanahan.
Hill is set to be in College Station this weekend, and the Aggies have been in great position for Hicks, Shanahan and Toviano throughout the process.
Texas and Oklahoma have made more headlines in the region, but it would be wise to keep an eye on Texas A&M as the cycle progresses.
Arch Manning debate
Arch Manning does not play against the best competition that Louisiana has to offer. Manning has also not competed in notable quarterback camps such as the Elite 11. Even still, Manning is unquestionably an elite talent that deserves to be in that No. 1 spot in the Rivals rankings.
The Texas commit is a technically sound passer that displays clean mechanics and impressive arm talent. He can make all the throws, is accurate to all levels of the field and is more athletic than many think. In fact, Alabama head coach Nick Saban even watched Manning hoop in a game with Isidore Newman.
It is fair to debate whether or not Manning should be the No. 1 overall prospect in the class. Nothing is set in stone, with a full season of context and data still remaining. USC pledge Malachi Nelson, for instance, is a player worthy of being in that conversation.
However, what is not fair, is to say that Manning is an afterthought if he had a different last name. There is a reason why some of the nation's best coaches and programs were in pursuit until Manning announced for the Longhorns.
Sure, the last name and family background help, but Manning himself is a highly talented prospect in his own right. Steve Sarkisian and Texas won a huge recruiting battle over Alabama and Georgia - the two programs that just played in the national championship.
Rising stock in the Mid-South
The next Rivals250 rankings update is right around the corner. There will surely be movement up and down the rankings after a summer full of prospect camps, 7v7 tournaments and much more ahead of the 2022 football season.
Here are three candidates to move up in the Mid-South:
Texas pledge Johntay Cook is an electric wide receiver that can break a game open at any point. Already a four-star, Cook has a chance to move up even higher after an impressive summer of making competition look foolish. The DeSoto (Texas) pass catcher deserves to be in five-star consideration.
Ridgeland (Miss.) wide receiver Ayden Williams is one of the hottest prospects nationally after turning heads in multiple camps and 7v7 settings this summer. He has a good frame out wide and can win one-on-one matchups in a variety of ways. It is safe to say that he will get a bump in the next update after rising more than 80 spots in June.
Red Oak (Texas) athlete Warren Roberson is a prospect that should push four-star status after displaying his versatility in the secondary during 7v7 tournaments. He saw his recruitment take off in the spring and has only backed that up in the summer.